Dec 1 2014

Out Today: Trouble in the Heartland


I’ve been lucky enough to have short stories published in a wide array of anthologies, but I’m especially excited about one that’s out today from Gutter Books. TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND: CRIME FICTION INSPIRED BY THE SONGS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is the brainchild of the ferociously talented Joe Clifford. He rounded up a great group of miscreants — including Dennis Lehane, James Grady, Chris F. Holm, Todd Robinson, Steve Weddle, Eric Beetner, and Jordan Harper — and put together an original collection that’s as gritty and intense as the music that inspired it. My contribution is “Hungry Heart,” named for a Springsteen song released in 1980. The song begins with the line, “Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / I went out for a ride and I never went back.” That got me thinking about the kind of man who’d walk out on his family, and what he might be doing years later.

When you buy a copy of TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND, a portion of the proceeds is going to the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Get the book now. And listen to The Boss.

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Nov 11 2014

Where to Find Me at Bouchercon Long Beach

IMG_0997I’m in Las Vegas right now, but unless I lose my plane ticket at the baccarat table, I’ll be heading to Long Beach tomorrow. (Note: I’m not cool enough to play baccarat, so there is zero chance of this happening. Selling my ticket to play at the GoldFish slots is within the realm of possibility, though. Those goldfish keep swimming away with my money!) This will be my fifth Bouchercon, and I can’t wait to see my criminally-minded friends. Here’s where to find me at the convention:

Friday, November 14:

10am-11am: I’ll be on the ”Sassy, Sexy, and Smart Female Protagonists” panel with Elaine Viets (moderator), Andrew Mayne, Diane Vallere, and James Ziskin. Come hear me explain why Lily Moore would clock me if I called her “sassy.” (We’ll be signing books afterwards from 11am to 11:20am.)

11:30am-12:30pm: I’m moderating the “Crime Novel as Social Novel” panel with Joseph Clifford, Les Edgerton, Sara J. Henry, Bill Loehfelm, and Tim O’Mara. Don’t miss this — it’s going to be a blast! (We’ll be signing books afterwards from 12:30pm to 1pm.)

2:30pm-4:30pm: I’ll be in the Tor/Forge hospitality suite. Come hang out, play author bingo, or just enjoy the free snacks. Who doesn’t want free snacks?

Saturday, November 15:

10am-11am: I’m part of the “Bloody Murder: Recommendations from the Margins” mega-event. Sara Paretsky and Charlaine Harris will co-host a formidable roster of writers talking about authors you need to discover. Book signing to follow from 11am to 11:30am.


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Oct 23 2014

Next Up: Vancouver Writers Fest


This weekend, I’m heading to Vancouver, to take part in the Vancouver Writers Fest. I’m so excited! On Saturday, October 25, at 10:30am, I’m on a panel with crime writers Ian Hamilton and Michael Robotham. On Sunday, October 26, I’m one of the featured authors at the Afternoon Tea at 3:30pm, and I’ll be reading from BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS. (Don’t worry, no one is actually letting me near the tea itself; I have a reputation.)

If you can’t catch me in person, you can still hear me read thanks to the latest CrimeWAV podcast. Listen to a section from BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS.

The photo above was taken at Woodlawn Cemetery on October 5th, the day I did a Mystery Writers of America event there with a group of fabulous writers (Linda Fairstein, Lawrence Block, Lyndsay Faye, and heather Graham.) Talking crime fiction and cemeteries? I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!


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Oct 2 2014

This Weekend: KGB Bar & Woodlawn Cemetery


Fall of my favorite time of year, not least because it’s filled with events. This weekend is a busy one for me:

Friday, October 3rd, 7pm-9pm: I’ll be reading at KGB Bar in New York’s East Village with a great crew that includes Rob Brunet, Terrence McCauley, Thomas Pluck, Tracey Landau, and A.C. Frieden. KGB Bar is located at 85 East 4th Street. This event is free and open to all!

Sunday, October 5th, 1pm-4pm: I’m one of the featured writers at a Mystery Writers of America event at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. The roster also includes superstar authors Linda Fairstein, Lawrence Block, Heather Graham, and Lyndsay Faye. I’ll be on a panel as well as making a presentation about funerary art, using images from cemeteries I’ve visited around the world (finally, my crazy hobby has a purpose!). There’s also a wonderful slate of events in the morning being presented by Woodlawn. You can buy tickets for the morning program or the afternoon program (or both!), and there’s a boxed-lunch option, too. Check out this piece I wrote for Criminal Element about why Woodlawn is such an amazing place.


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Sep 22 2014

All Due Respect #4

ADR #4 V3

The fourth issue of All Due Respect is out, and I’m honored to be its featured author. You’ll find my new story “A Hopeless Case” in the magazine, as well as an interview conducted by Benoît Lelièvre, who asks me smart, provocative questions. There’s also original fiction by Joe Clifford, Travis Richardson, William Wallace, Stephen D. Rogers, Michael Cebula, CT McNeely, Christopher Irvin, and Michael Pool, as well as reviews and interviews. I’m so grateful to editor Chris Rhatigan for asking me to be part of it.

Want to read “A Hopeless Case”? Here’s how it begins:

Jump, Sarah ordered herself.

The number four express train was roaring towards the station. It was all of nine, maybe ten heartbeats away.

Jump. Jump. Jump. No more excuses. Time to jump.

She’d been mentally preparing for this moment for days, but now that the time to act was upon her, she hesitated, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. When she fantasized about her death, it seemed so simple. She would fall forward in a gentle arc, like a scuba diver pushing one flippered foot off a pier, just as she and Colin had done countless times into the warm embrace of the Caribbean. She’d dive for the subway tracks, but be intercepted by the train. It would be a clean, swift meeting of flesh and metal with only one possible outcome.

No one else would be harmed. That was essential.

What Sarah hadn’t envisioned, until she was standing on the platform, was the driver of the train. In her daydream, it was just a faceless, eyeless train. She saw herself being killed before anyone knew what had happened. She hadn’t thought about the driver seeing her. A week earlier, when she’d been walking on the George Washington Bridge, looking for the right spot to leap from, she’d realized how impossible it would be to end her life there. Certainly, she would die, but before her body was cold, rescue workers would be dragged in. Sarah didn’t want anyone else to be affected by her death. What if the subway driver saw her throw herself in front of the train? Would that person have nightmares for weeks or months or years to come, visions of a forty-five-year-old woman in a headscarf splattering before their eyes?

Buy All Due Respect on Amazon.

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Aug 8 2014

Noir at the Bar, Queens Edition


Last night was a blast. A huge thank you to Odradek’s Coffee House for hosting the first-ever Noir at the Bar Queens, to Alex Segura for being the superstar who put the event together, and to all the authors who read. It was an honor to be part of the event!

Photo of the reading crew, from left to right: Thomas Pluck, Suzanne Solomon, me, Reed Farrel Coleman, Richie Narvaez, Angel Colón, Jason Starr, and Alex Segura.

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Aug 7 2014

Noir at the Bar Queens


The first-ever Noir at the Bar Queens is tonight at Odradeks Coffee House in Kew Gardens. You know you want to be there! It’s from 7pm to 9pm, and we have Alex Segura to thank for organizing it. I’ll be reading with Reed Farrel Coleman, Angel Colon, Richie Narvaez, Suzanne Solomon, Thomas Pluck, and Jason Starr. See you there!

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Aug 2 2014

Deadly Ink This Weekend

Last year, I attended my first Deadly Ink conference. I had a great time, which is really saying something, since I’d had surgery on my left foot four days before the conference started… and periodontal surgery just two days before. Honestly, I look back and wonder, What was I thinking? But there’s no group of people I’d rather hang out with than my crime-fiction tribe, even when I’m in rough shape.

I’m back at Deadly Ink this year, and I’m really looking forward to it. (Bonus: I can walk and talk normally this year!) If you’re near New Brunswick, NJ, I hope you’ll come by the Hyatt Regency (walk-ins are welcome; you don’t need to register in advance). I’ll be around all weekend, but here are the panels I’ll be on:

  • Saturday, 10am-10:55am: “What’s in the Works” with Jeff Cohen, Kevin Egan, Jack Getze, Jon McGoran, Jeff Markowitz, and moderator Terry Irving
  • Saturday, 4pm-4:55pm: “Rollercoaster Rides—What Makes a Thriller Compelling” with R. G. Belsky, Kevin Egan, Terry Irving, E.J. Rand, Cathi Stoler, and moderator Jon McGoran
  • Sunday, 1pm-2pm: “Boxers or Briefs—A Discussion of Short Stories” with Jack Getze, Barb Goffman, K. B. Inglee, Albert Tucher, and moderator Donna Andrews
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Jun 27 2014

Announcing an eBook Sale!


If you’ve never read the Lily Moore books, now would be a great time to get into them! THE DAMAGE DONE, the book that launched the series and won the 2011 Anthony Award for Best Novel, is now on sale for $2.99 for Kobo, Kindle, Nook, and on iBooks.

EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES, published in 2013, is on sale for $1.99 for Kobo, Kindle, Nook, and on iBooks. The promotion will run for a limited time, so grab the eBooks now!

UPDATE 7/3/14: THE DAMAGE DONE is back to its regular price, but EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES is still on sale for $1.99. Grab it now!



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Jun 11 2014

The Lizard’s Ardent Uniform

cover_LizardsArdent_525wA few months ago, my friend David Cranmer asked me to be part of a special project: an anthology to celebrate the life of his nephew Kyle J. Knapp, who died tragically in a house fire at the age of 23. David’s idea was to give each writer involved in the project a sentence from one of Kyle’s journals, and to have us spin a story from there. The line I was given was this: “A lonely hitch hiker was walking down the road on a sunny afternoon.” That became the foundation for my short story, “The Debt,” which is in the just-released collection THE LIZARD’S ARDENT UNIFORM & OTHER STORIES. The talented lineup includes Chris F. Holm, Patti Abbott, Steve Weddle, Terrie Farley Moran, and other terrific writers. The collection is available as an eBook and in print — and the eBook is available for free right now.

David has written movingly about Kyle’s life in the past, but his most recent post — telling the story behind THE LIZARD’S ARDENT UNIFORM — is a must-read. To quote a small portion of it:

Only after his death did I find out that, like me, Kyle was a fan of Dr. Who, and in an episode from season three of the new series, when David Tennant, playing the famous time traveler, says, “Some people live more in twenty years than others do in eighty. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person,” I think of the twenty-three-year-old Kyle Joseph Knapp and the many lives he lived as a poet, naturalist, musician, son, brother, friend, and dream voyager.

I hope you’ll enjoy the collection.

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